Highly ranked with state ambitions


Senior Garrett Matacale jukes a midfielder in last year’s scrimmage against Allen High School’s varsity team.

Kevin Davis, Staff Reporter

With soccer season in full swing, the boy’s team is ranked one of the top teams in North Texas according to The Dallas Morning News. With a 12-2-2 record, the Leopards are closing out a successful regular season and looking to extend their season into the playoffs.

“There really wasn’t much of a reaction to rankings,” head soccer Bryan Jennings said. “The team is simply focused on the next opponent and putting team first. We have an understanding that rankings can be a distraction. If we simply play our best everything else takes care of itself.”

Along with good results on the field, the team has had some fun along the way this season; starting a social media trend using #StateBond, instead of using “state bound”.

“[The state bond trend] was an incident in the locker room,” senior Tim Rekieta said. “One time when the parents decorated the lockers for us one of the signs in the locker room said “state bond” when it was obviously supposed to be “state bound”. It has just been a running joke from then on about how we are #statebond.”

Several Leopards will be going on to play college soccer next year. Senior Darren McFarling has committed to the University of Texas at Dallas and senior Cody McLemore has committed to Oklahoma Christian University.

“There are still other seniors who do not want to play in college,” McFarling said. “So I want their last high school season to be a memorable one along with my own.”

Part of the team’s success can be explained by the team’s belief in itself.

“We are confident,” Jennings said. “We are confident in each other and the way we have approached training and competition. Above confidence we have incredible trust in each other and that helps. After goals, you won’t see celebrations. We simply go back to work.

Having a strong defense is important in any sport and that is the case for the Leopards as there is statistically no better defense in the area.

“As of right now, statistically, we are the best team in North Texas defensively which includes all classifications,” Jennings said. “We simply committed to being better.  Within this goal, we committed to being consistent through play and training. This has taken an incredible level of commitment and discipline.”

On the other end of the field, the Leopards try to be unselfish with the team hoping

to get a contribution from every player.

“The flip side of our agenda was to increase our offensive presence and get contributions from everyone,” Jennings said. “By looking at our stats, we have involvement from just about everyone. This speaks of our team-first mentality. Our goal has not been accomplished, yet. We are working towards it.”

Hopes run high in the locker room for a deep run in the playoffs.

“Our main goal this year was to prepare for a long trip into the postseason,” Jennings said. “We aren’t finished. We still have work to do.”